This frittata is perfect for a picnic, especially on a chilly spring day. It’s hearty and portable, and the fruity, nutty Gruyere cheese gives it an extra layer of flavor. My kids are often skittish about cheese that’s not cheddar, but once Gruyere melts, the stronger flavors and aromas smooth out and it becomes gratifyingly gooey and savory. It’s also an excellent way to use up leftover cooked pasta!
8 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk or heavy cream
½ teaspoon sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups cooked pasta (penne, fusilli and chopped spaghetti work well)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, cut into thin slices
½ cup sliced cooked sausage
2 cups roughly chopped tender greens, like beet, chard, spinach or arugula (lightly packed)
½ cup chopped parsley
¾–1 cup grated Gruyere or cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan, divided
Heat oven to 375°F and place a rack in the center. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk or cream, ¼ teaspoon salt, the nutmeg and a few grinds of pepper. In another medium bowl, toss the pasta with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion slices and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until soft and collapsing. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, until the onions just begin to brown. Turn the heat back down to medium, add the sausage and cook, stirring, until heated through, 2–3 minutes. Add the greens and parsley and another pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until the spinach has cooked down and its liquid has evaporated. Add the pasta and stir to combine with the spinach mixture. Taste and adjust the season-ing as needed.
Sprinkle half of the shredded Gruyere or cheddar over the pasta and greens. Pour the eggs over the top and shake the pan a little to evenly distribute the eggs over the filling. Sprinkle on the remaining Gruyere or cheddar and the parmesan and cook frittata over the stovetop for a few minutes to set the bottom. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the eggs are set in the center. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before serving, or let cool, cut into wedges and wrap for your picnic.
LEIGH BELANGER is the food editor at Culture magazine. Her second book, My Kitchen Chalkboard, about streamlining dinnertime for busy families, will be released this coming fall. She lives in Jamaica Plain.